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How to Cut Down on Waste

Canadians are among the most prolific garbage producers on Earth. Between flyers, bulky packaging, junk mail, food and clothing, waste is a huge part of our lives. Here are our top tips on how to cut down on waste. 

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Shop Less, Buy More

If you’re wondering how to cut down on waste, the first step is to shop less. Instead of purchasing for the day or the week, consider getting the largest product you can use before it spoils and parcelling it out into smaller reusable containers such as Mason jars

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Be Careful What You Buy

Most packaging-plastic, foam, paper-from boxed items ends up in landfills. Instead of purchasing cereal in cardboard boxes and plastic, for example, consider buying it at a bulk-food store where you can bag your own items. It’s a great way to cut down on waste. Shopping online means a lot of packaging (clothes, shoes, etc.). If you do shop online, try to purchase everything at the same time so you only have to deal with the excess materials once.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Use Every Scrap

Cut down on waste with your vegetables. Keep the ends of vegetables and animal bones for stock, and buy beets and carrots with the greens attached so you can sauté the greens for a side dish.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Plan Your Meals

Cut down on waste by writing down everything you need to buy to cook for the week, including condiments, sides, coffee and even wine. That way, you won’t throw out unused, spoiled food at the end of each week or month.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Bring a Basket

If you frequent a farmers’ market, cut down on waste by saving the egg cartons and fruit containers to reuse them or return them to the farmer. Try to buy fresh meat that can be wrapped up in butcher’s paper instead of sealed in plastic in a Styrofoam container.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: No Junk Mail

While Canada Post is required to deliver any mail with your address on it to you, the note will cut back on unaddressed handouts. To cut down on waste from pieces with your name or address on them, you’ll have to call the company and request your name be removed from their list.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Switch to E-Bills

For most companies, it’s just a matter of clicking a button to make the switch from paper to electronic bills and cutting down on waste. Some retailers, such as Apple and Sephora, will email you your receipt instead of handing you a paper copy, too-just ask.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: Quality, Not Quantity

Cut down on waste by buying less clothing, buy better quality clothing and learn how to do simple sewing repairs. Darning socks and mending sweaters will cut down on the number of items you’d normally toss in the trash.

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How to Cut Down on Waste: TLC

Instead of dumping fast-fashion clothing, be mindful of how you’re washing it. Clothes will last longer if you’re careful what you wash together. The old rule of separating whites, darks and colours still applies.

Wash jeans inside out to keep the colour vibrant, and use a drying rack instead of a dryer. Handwash your lingerie to help your pieces last longer-agitation from the washing machine can damage bras.

Recycle your worn-out wares. Turn fabric from clothing that’s too old to wear into reusable cleaning cloths for chores around the house. You’ll be cutting down on waste before you know it!

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